Arsenal face competition for midfield star as Prem rivals could force big Arteta decision

Ciaran McCarthy
Youri Tielemans, Leicester City, January 2023

Borussia Dortmund have reportedly registered an interest in Youri Tielemans and that, coupled with another potential move, could force Mikel Arteta’s hand at Arsenal.

Tielemans has been a target of the Gunners’ for the past few transfer windows. However, they’ve made the decision not to pull the trigger on a move yet.

At present, it seems that was a good choice. Indeed, Arsenal are flying and the savvy pick-up of Jorginho in January has added something to the midfield on the cheap.

Had they signed Tielemans previously, while he’d have added quality, Arsenal are top of the league anyway. As such, how much more he’d have added could be questioned.

The decision could be vindicated even further, with the Leicester City man’s contract now up at the end of the season.

Arsenal might have the chance to snare him for nothing, which would be a massive result. They’d be getting a top player for nothing after deciding not to spend big on him previously.

However, things might not be as simple as they seem. Indeed, while the Gunners are still considering a move, they’re not the only club in the mix.

Manchester United have been linked and now, so have Borussia Dortmund.

Indeed, German media outlet Derwesten cites a journalist who reports the Bundesliga side have identified Tielemans as one of four players that could replace Jude Bellingham, should he depart.

If Bellingham is to leave Dortmund, the Premier League could be his destination. Liverpool seem to be one of the leaders in the chasing pack, with Chelsea also in the mix, as well as Spanish side Real Madrid.

As such, there’s a chance one of Arsenal’s league rivals force their hand regarding a move for Tielemans.

Whether or not that’s a problem for Arteta’s side remains to be seen. Indeed, Tielemans has looked eager to head to the Emirates for some time.

As such, if given the option between Arsenal and Dortmund, he might well still choose the former. However, he seems a great replacement for Bellingham at Dortmund.

What’s more, he might see the chance to be a starter and potentially become a star player in a big side as a great opportunity.

Were he to move to Arsenal, there are no guarantees he’d start. Martin Odegaard is a shoo-in for a starting spot and Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka have been consistent performers this season.

With Jorginho also in the mix, Arsenal already have a number of solid options to call upon. Tielemans might be able to force his way in and stay there, but whether he’d want to risk doing so is another question.

READ MORE: Arteta convinced Jorginho to join Arsenal as ace admits he was ‘no longer’ in Chelsea plans